Comedy and World War II aren't exactly a peanut butter and jelly kind of combination. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party’s political takeover is often characterized as the darkest time in modern history, ridden with appalling ignorance and bloodshed. The time period has often been brought to the big screen with immensely dramatic films such as Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and Hacksaw Ridge. However, Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker Taika Waititi decided to approach Nazi Germany with humor in Jojo Rabbit.
Another World War II drama may not catch eyes, but a subversive take such as Jojo Rabbit that tackles the time period with a different approach will find an audience. It certainly helps that Taika Waititi is a hot name in movies right now, as he comes off a refreshing take to Thor in 2017’s Ragnarok and soon with Love and Thunder, also starring Natalie Portman. Audiences like to be challenged and gravitate to fresh renditions in movies.
Jojo Rabbit draws in an audience with this interest to see what Taika Waititi will do with his imaginary Hitler character. Once it softens the blow of the topic with its humor, the movie still seeks to remind the audience of Nazi Germany where the horrible Holocaust occured. It’s clever to bring in an audience with laughs and an important and poignant message in mind by the end. Jojo Rabbit is also a coming-of-age story about a young boy – a universal struggle.
With this in mind, Jojo Rabbit could be an Oscar frontrunner. Aside from Taika’s Hitler, the movie stars Scarlett Johansson as the vivacious mother to Jojo, Rosie, as well as Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson and Stephan Merchant as characters of the Nazi party, and Roman Griffin Davis as the titular 10-year-old boy.
Jojo Rabbit is now playing in select theaters.